As the MBTA heads to court on Wednesday to defend its decision to keep anti-Islamic ads off of certain train platforms and vehicles, they may have a tough time convincing a judge that their opposition to the signage was in the public's best interest.
"I wouldn't say they have no leg to stand on, but I would say they have a difficult standard they need to prove," said Matt Sienkiewicz, an assistant professor of communication and international studies at Boston College.
Sienkiewicz, who became interested in the MBTA's pending case in federal court due to his studies in global media cultures and media theory, said the T will have to prove that their decision to deny an organization's request to post billboards was not an infringement of their First Amendment rights. "It isn't impossible. There is nothing wrong with banning demeaning speech, but you have to show you are doing it consistently," he said.